My Success Story... at least, the first bit.
I posted to a few of my blog sites explaining the basics behind Primal, but the forum choked when I tried to post the whole thing here. Then I realized, most people here already know all the science. I just want to share my success. So here it is:
OK, I'm going to write a little bit here about my weight-loss and getting-healthy journey. I put those terms in that order, mostly because most people just want to know how I lost the weight (and am continuing to lose it) when I'm eating stuff that they've been told by everyone they know is "unhealthy." However, for me, the object is really health, and weight is secondary to that goal.
Here's my success story: I started out in August of 2009 at 397 pounds (essentially, 400 pounds). I had diabetes (A1c = 8.7), arthritis (I was in a powered wheelchair most of the time), severe migraines, IBS, and a host of other problems. My father had died of diabetes (through gangrene and advanced cancer), and I didn't want to head down the same path. So when my doctor sat me down on August 13 and said "Change or die," I took him seriously, and I began searching the Internet for answers.
I found several, all of them leading to the same startling conclusions. I am a scientist by trade and training (social scientist, but it's still science) and so when I first discovered the ideas of low-carb and Paleo eating, I investigated all the nutrition literature I could get my hands on, to see if these folks were just con men or if their assertions were backed up by the science. When I discovered that the science supported their assertions, I dove in and I have never once regretted it.
All of my health problems began to disappear within three weeks. My bloodwork in November, four months into it, shocked my doctor. He couldn't believe I'd gone from an 8.7 A1c to a 5.4 (normal) A1c in only four months. At that point I'd lost 47 pounds, too, without effort. I drove my wheelchair into Student Services at school a month after I started this process and said "Here, I'm abandoning this, hope someone who needs it can use it." They all knew me pretty well - I'd been in a chair since undergrad - and it gave me such a charge to walk out of that office to their open-mouthed stares.
It's been almost two years since I started this process. I am still not what most people would consider "healthy" in terms of weight - I'm at about 295 right now - but I'm a hell of a lot better than where I was, and in terms of health problems, I'm stellar. The diabetes is essentially gone - my doctor says I've cured it. I'm walking all over the place and usually without pain. The IBS is history, I haven't had a migraine in over a year, and I have more energy at 40 than I ever had at 20.
That's how I did it, and how I'm continuing to do it. By my calculations, I'm losing about a pound and a half a week, without any real effort beyond not eating things that are bad for me and spike insulin (grains, beans/pulses, starchy vegetables, fruit, sugars, and processed food). I never, ever thought I'd see the underside of 300 on a scale again. The fact that I have used to amaze me, but now I know it's not magic. It's science.
Yesterday I discussed this with a registered nurse. She gasped in shock when I described my average daily diet, and then began to shake her head in wonder as I explained the science behind it. And now she's heading off to the sites and books I told her about, because it convinced her that this works.
That's how I did it, folks. You can do it, too.